Archives for posts with tag: LIFE

One year ago today, I was discharged from IMC in Murray. I had fruit and cottage cheese for lunch with the most delicious lemonade ever. People bitch about hospital food, but in our current state of evolution, it is delicious, and of course, nutritious.

My mom was sitting on the couch in my room and I remember having never felt better. My health had been in disrepair for a long time and my mental health was even worse. Imagine how happy I was to find out that I was indeed going to live. A very friendly pacific islander wheeled me to my moms car and off we went. I didn’t want to be wheeled out, but I guess wheelchair exits are mandatory. Mom and I went shopping for some new toiletries and I was able to go in with her. I could actually walk around the store with her without feeling like I was going to collapse in giant lump of failure.

A year later I am still fighting the fight and enjoying small victories everyday. I passed my GED with above average scores and I am taking Japanese lessons from my dad. I’m still unemployed but I am applying for jobs everyday.

I couldn’t have got to where I am without the love and support of my family and friends. Whether it was in text or in person, I couldn’t have done it alone. Thank you to everyone and thanks for stopping by.




Where do I even begin?

As a boy you are taught to be dominant. Obstinate. Rebellious. The only thing I am obstinatious about is this line of thinking. I am not dominant. I am not rebellious. I have my own thoughts and emotions, but they aren’t in conflict with anyone else’s. Therefore, I am an individual without the annoying “you can’t tell me what to do” mentality. My family may disagree slightly on this point, but that’s ok. They can’t tell me what to do. What happens when you aren’t good at filling the stereotypical male role in life? That’s what I’ve been pondering as of late.

First I feel the need to link the title to the subject. A part of dominance is indifference. You will find people that can’t be gulled or bullied into your mindset. You can’t make everyone be the perfect friend, partner, family member, etc. Everyone is an individual at heart and some won’t be swayed by baby blue eyes and dimples as deep as the ocean. Herein lies the rub, if you have been taught to be a good alpha male and you have had success in it, your failures will be few and insignificant. You’re indifferent to them. You move on. I am not indifferent about anything. I try my damnedest to simply shrug off failures no matter the scale with no success. I dwell. I stagnate. In that regard, indifference is killing me. I need to learn acceptance and perseverance.

The second thing I have found about not fitting into male stereotypes is, you will eventually. You will do so not even of your own accord. You become the guy that all the girls wish their guy or previous guys were like. You relish and bask in your glorious rise above. Nice guys do finish. Once you finally have a success under your belt, you turn into the alpha male. Nothing can stop you. You are now the desired and sought after. Instead of enjoying the company you’re in and being grateful for the newfound love, you think of the next move. Why? Because you’re a guy. You’re inherently an asshole and there’s little to do about it. Or is there?

Obviously these are my own opinions and do not reflect much fact. They are based 100% on emotion and facts are skewed by those emotions. I recently felt like I was wronged by someone and I couldn’t just let that person go. I needed them to know how I felt. The more I thought about it and distanced my emotions from actual events, I discovered I was that alpha male. I had someone to like me for me and all my faults and all I could think of is how the other males would react. Never taking into account my feelings or her feelings. I was searching for a trophy. An object for others to covet. What did I end up with? Nothing.

Now, this isn’t really the “end” in so many words, but it probably will be a temporary end of hunting. Deep down I think I am a nice guy. I think we are all nice guys deep down inside. The only thing that separates the alpha males from the nice guys is the idea that in order to be happy our fellow knuckle-dragging cave dwellers have to be jealous and covetous. Let’s all focus on the positive things in our lives. Be happy with what we do have and who we are at the core. Back to the roots. So pick up those knuckles, clean behind your ears, open doors for others, and smile. On three…break!
Thanks for stopping by.



Someone tell me how I feel

Today feels full and busy. Feels like I have a million things to do and I only have today to do them. Truth is, the day is light. It’s actually just about a half dozen phone calls to make and then pick up around the house. Easy right?

In my head, there is nothing more terrifying than initiating contact with a company. I used to be a pro at it, but I haven’t had to call anyone for a year. Today I have to call my neurologist, cardiologist, insurance company, and then some incoming calls. The incoming ones aren’t as bad because all I have to do is answer and respond. The ones where I am required to initiate and explain what I need, want, and make sure my meaning isn’t lost is terrifying. They all have to do with my health and I always feel like I am missing something.

I don’t like being a grown up. Not one sodding bit. The bottom line is, I have to deal with these things now. Procrastination only leads to massive panic attacks later. So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right. Thanks for stopping by.



Today I had a follow up with the heart clinic. Lovey group of people with a singular goal: get you healthy. It’s their master plan if you will. Today revealed my weight was up quite a bit and my breathing was worse. The first thing I thought of was “what the cuss?! we had a master plan!

My diet and exercise have been the same since leaving the hospital in March with the exception of fluid restriction. As I am not retaining fluid, I do not have to ration. Pretty rational.

In fact, if anything, my exercise has become better. Longer distances, less breaks, working up a real sweat. le sigh

I also informed them of my predicament with my insurance coming to an end on Saturday and being out of pills. Plans were made for that and I will still see them on a monthly basis while we wait for medicaid to answer or for me to find a job. I submitted about 15 applications this morning, so I am hoping for a bite out there. Fishing is supposed to be peaceful. Not job fishing (I don’t hunt).

One strange thing happened today that had nothing to do with my health. More to do with my paranoia. A slender man came in to have his defibrillator checked. The same device I denied to be put in. Not that strange considering I was in a heart clinic. The strangeness, he was born on 11/19/1963. 22 years older than I. Maybe this is something all 11/19’ers share. Maybe CGB Spender had something to do with this illness too. Preparing for colonisation. Or maybe I should stop watching X-Files before bed. Mayhaps. Thanks for stopping by.



In life, just as in film and television, there are second takes. Tertiary takes. Multiple takes in which we try to get things just right. We’ve been brought up to make a great first impression, because you only get one. We are also brought up to not judge a book by its cover. First impressions are just the cover of your personality. So we are taught to be charming and alluring covers that no one is supposed to judge. Life. What an exhausting and aggravating series of contradictions we put up with.

The only reason I brought up multiple takes is because this is the third revision of this entry. Not just in my wording or witty title linked to both theme and the music I am listening to as I write, but in the theme as a whole. Usually once I start on a theme, I just go on until I am tired of grinning at my own wit. This time, it was different.

So many emotions are running through my head and I can’t focus on one. The only thing I know is I don’t want to be a downer. The first two attempts focused on the sad and scary events to come. Why focus on that? I need to make a good first impression to those that this is a first entry for. If you are new, don’t judge me by my cover. Don’t judge me even though I have thought and rethought what to say so that if this is the first time for you, you will love and accept me. You will take me off the shelf, read me cover-to-cover, and bug your friends about this great new book you found.

I am stuck. Stuck up. Stuck up on this shelf. I am trying to dust off the cover and patch any torn bindings so you won’t run at first glance.

My focus is on the week to come. Another doctor visit. Another birthday. Another attempt to remain calm when my only thought is to run far away. This week will be good. I’ve already written three days in a row and ran the last two days. Things are off to a steady start. Let’s hope for the best as I reach to rip my heart from my chest. Thanks for stopping by.



What can I say anymore? It has been confirmed that I am indeed, the weird kid. This really didn’t come as a shock to me and I would assume didn’t come as a shock to anyone that knows me either. However, in a life full of uncertainty it was a genuine surprise to receive confirmation of…well….anything really. Feel left out? Prepare to have speed increased so you are caught up.

Part of my new life includes nearly weekly blood test. Levels in my metabolic panel change so frequently and my doctors all give a damn that they monitor the hell out of me. I pretend sometimes to be upset by this, but I occasionally enjoy being taken care of. I always turn into a little boy when I am sick that just wants his mom to make him soup and tell him everything will be ok. Well I have been sick for almost a year now, so the attention waxes and wanes from beautiful to annoying. I realise this is my own brain making these determinations, so I will return to the story.

Today I had a blood test to check my kidney function and potassium levels. For some funny reason, potassium and I do not get along. It’s pretty funny because my gangy always used to talk about bananas and potassium. So I assumed I was one of the only kids my age that was watching for that. Side note to that side note, I can only spell bananas by singing the Gwen Stefani song. I get lost in the “na”s so I sing it. jnan found that funny as do I.

Back to the blood…

For as long as I have been getting these tests, I have wanted to ask for a vial of my own blood. Why? Why not? I sit in a chair and am poked until I bleed. What’s my compensation (besides of course the reassurance that I am getting healthy…but that’s neither here nor there)? As I am pricked I stare at this clear plastic cubby full of different coloured tubes. Each tube coded for what test it is with a different additive. Medical science is very fascinating. Today, with my newly discovered courage, I asked the adorable phlebotomist my question. I thought it was reasonable, but I got the strangest look ever. Before she could answer, because I felt a huge “no” coming on, I countered with, “What, will you get in trouble?”
“I don’t think so” she replied, still trying to gauge if I was just screwing with her, “no one has asked before. I don’t see why not, it is your blood”.

With two tubes in her hand she says she will give me the first one. Confused I asked if she didn’t need it. I learned that when running a metabolic panel they need to remove all air from the line so as not to taint the sample. She was just going to throw away my blood. My blood. She reattached the first vial to fill it a little more and gave it to me. It has no additive since it is used only to clear the line. Now I sit here with a 3.0 ml vial of blood filled halfway. To everyone that has heard me recount this story, it has been met with the same facial response as the phlebotomists. I am ok with being weird. I am the kid with a vial of his own blood on his nightstand. What do you think Stephen King has on his nightstand? Think about it. Thanks for stopping by.



Today has been a roller-coaster of feelings and emotions. I have felt lost, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, lied to, found, loved, and forgiven. The topic of God and religion comes up frequently in my life for numerous reasons. Having some friends that are devout Christians and some that are almost militant and relentless atheists. Having family that have pledged lifetime of service to God and others that explore other means of faith and spirituality.

Growing up in Utah, there is a good chance you will be born into religion, or be taught early on through friends that were born into it if you weren’t. You can’t escape religion in this state, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, as with all things, some people can take it too far and spoil the roots of good intentions. Where I find myself lost is in any particular belief. I was born into an LDS (Latter Day Saint [Mormon]) family and baptised at the age of eight. Never questioning anything about it, just going through the motions. My parents were not very strict about it and had liberal views on politics, art, and speech. This is a polite way of saying they cursed, let us watch rated R movies, and fully believed in freedom of choice. Not a common things associated with the LDS stereotype. It made growing up Mormon a very tolerable thing. But in my case it also made me mostly indifferent. Outside of the weekly block of meetings, I didn’t think of church. Didn’t think of God or service or sacrifice or history, but rather focused on toys, music, movies, and girls. Church was a 3 hour a week deal and that was it. It stayed that way my entire life. Not through any shortcomings of parents or leaders, but through my own indifference. My parents both served missions as did my older brother. My parents were married in the Temple as was my brother. These things were and are important to them and I respect it wholly.

Still, I find myself indifferent to the entire situation. I have seen it help families, hurt families, help people, hurt people, and everything in between. I also fully believe that at the core of every religion and belief, is the will to do good and make life better for everyone. The downside to this is the fallible nature of man. We have faults that cause the root and core of good things, turn selfish or evil. I don’t feel betrayed or hurt by my religion at all. I have seen it help many people in my life. I cannot deny that at all. My older brother is a perfect example. He has found love, peace, and a future spreading knowledge of something he believes fully in. He knows what he wants and is totally committed to it. But in my own life, I have never felt good or bad about religion or God or scripture. I have always felt ambivalent and indifferent to the entire thought. I have a few friends that identify as Agnostic and I always found this a little weird. That was, until recently.

My upbringing had me around 99% Mormons and 0.99% other faiths and 0.01% agnostic or atheist. I didn’t meet an atheist until my senior year of high school. Not that more didn’t exist, but it had never been something that was questioned. I believe most Mormons in Utah simply assume everyone else is a Mormon. Maybe this is more true of small towns like Lehi, nestled in the churchy bosom of Utah county. I was invited to dinner at a friends house that I assumed was just like the rest of us. Her dad had a beer at the dinner table and I thought…oh, maybe not. Then he was ballsy enough to bring up religion and started bashing on Joseph Smith (look it up if you don’t know who he is, this isn’t Church history, it’s adn history.). I was taken aback that once he knew I was LDS he would continue his anti-Mormon tirade. I understand the freedom we have to choose what to and not to believe in. Not only do I understand it, I fully respect it. But this was not the forum for religious debate. This was dinner with a friend. Awkward.

Anyway, the point of that story was just to illustrate how queer it was to find out you know someone that didn’t belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a little children’s hymn humour). The older I got, the more agnostics and atheists I knew. Most of them former members that were members only out of tradition or family will. I would ask myself, how could someone that was a member just stop believing? It seemed so strange that someone brought up in the one true faith would later rebel against it. I chalked this up to simple rebellion where they just wanted to be different. The same reason they try alcohol or cigarettes. Just because they were told not to, well, you’ll show them. I stopped regularly attending church over five years ago. I kept telling myself and my family that I believe in the LDS teachings, I just don’t go because of the people. This was definitely a big reason I initially stopped going. I found myself alone in a place where you should feel welcome always. I have never felt welcome at church or church functions. I have always felt looked down upon. A lot of this has to do with my own emotional and social anxieties rather than any rational fear. But it is true that I have always felt more welcomed by people that are ex-members or were never members. The girls I get along with most, the boys that accept me for me, all of them are non-members. My family is excluded from thus generalisation because they have loved me always. It will never change because they are wonderful and accepting people. As for everyone else, I feel constantly judged and shamed for my decisions. As far as I thought, judgement is reserved for God.

So here I find myself, lost. I don’t know what to call myself anymore. I’ve never really been one for labels, but I don’t know if I am LDS anymore. I know I am not atheist as I do believe in some higher power. But what that power is and to what extent it reaches…I don’t know. And until right now, that scared me. I have heard that it’s only when we lose ourselves can we truly be found. If I had to label myself, I suppose I would identify as agnostic. I am not giving up a search for truth and happiness, but I am done looking for approval in places I will never find it. To friends past, present, and future, this may give you a proper insight to why I am how I am. And know that regardless of your spiritual preference, I will love and accept you as long as you can do the same for me. I am fully aware this will cause some loss of friendship. Unfortunately that is an ugly truth of this decision. If you are one that decides to rid me from your life because of this, I wish you nothing but love and happiness in your life. I have found myself in the uncertainty that is life and it’s mysteries. Admitting that to myself and to all of you has lifted a weight I have been carrying for far too long. Whatever your path, belief, or lack thereof, exists, I hope you are happy. If you are not, do yourself a favour and explore other options. Find your happiness. Thanks for stopping by.



Here I am, awake and alone at 3:30 am. Popping hydrocodone due to a very sore back as a result of my recent seizures. As I sit here, I fully comprehend why people get high and watch cartoons. The pill takes it’s effect and I turn on the one and only, Pink Panther. Classic movies and even more classic cartoons. At this particular moment, the panther is chasing a basketball that appears to be possessed. This ball has a mind and the intent to run away. Already adorable and funny, right? Across from the park there is a volleyball tournament taking place where a volleyball decides it too wants to run away. The two balls meet in the park and fall in love and get married. They have children and live happily ever after. What joy! Here I sit alone, a little afraid, and a little sad, and now, hopeful. These two balls of different sports found love in each other despite their differences. How brilliant is that?! Well, I liked it. You don’t have to be so mean about it. Geez.

Other things of note, I have temporarily dropped out of school. With the uncertainty of my health and it’s new complications, I don’t want to risk failing classes due to a lack of attendance as a result of hospital stays. I am going to take this time to focus on health and start again in the spring semester. This decision did not come lightly, but had to be done.

Speaking of health, yesterday I had my MRI. What a queer experience that was. When I was done my dad asked how it went. The best way I could describe it was, I felt like I was being faxed. I was secured in this head restraint (the MRI was specific to my brain) and the conveyor takes me in. It sounds like an ancient 14.4 modem firing up and trying to send me to the matrix. Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill? So 45 minutes later and I was successfully magnetically resonated. The results are being sent to my neurologist and we will know more next week. Also next week, a visit with the heart failure team. Ah the life of a geriatric trapped in the sexy body of a 25 year old Adonis.

The Lortab is continuing to take it’s wonderful effect and I am starting to spell lots of things wrong, so I will end this entry here. I love each and everyone that reads this and I am a lucky boy to have such beautiful people in my life. I will let you know more about my brain as I find out, but until then, thanks for stopping by.



Well friends and family, it is almost a week later. What has happened to me you might be wondering. I am glad you asked!

School has started and I am truly loving it. I am still the shy boy that doesn’t talk in class, but I enjoy class. So it’s a plus.

Health? It’s good and uncertain. My heart is a strong 30-35% ejection fraction. Hooray! What was I worried about? I should have went with my gut and waited until Dr. Miller had a chance to review it, but I didn’t. I freaked out and made some stupid decisions. In light of all that, we are still pushing exercise and medication. I need to be above 35% at my next echocardiogram to be considered in the clear. My hopes are definitely high for the upcoming months.

I have yet to hear from my neurologist to even see her, let alone have the test. I am even looking forward to the electroencephalogram (EEG) because it may provide some information on insomnia and nervous ticks I have. As I write this I am going on no sleep and I can’t quit tapping my foot. Maybe a new life is just around the corner. I am excited to keep going on this journey and will provide updates all along. I hope you are enjoying these posts and I look forward to more updates. Thanks for stopping by.



A warning to any readers of this post: this will contain coarse and vulgar language. The last week has been the most unstable times of my life emotionally and I even lost a few days. I will tell you all about it, I am just warning you, you might not like me after reading this.

I am in bed with the most uneasy feeling I can recall in my life’s history. What has caused this unsettling? Bad life decisions disguised as healthy rebellion.

If you know me, or have followed this blog at all, you know that I have heart failure. Being so young, it has been a strange and even scary experience. Though with the support of family, friends, and modern medicine, I am still alive and doing quite well. I post my updates of doctor visits filled with praise for the boy who fought for his life. Things were going up and up. Then, last week it hit me.

I had an echocardiogram nearly 6 months after my first one. My main cardiologist was amazingly hopeful for my progress simply due to appearance. With the weight loss and demeanour of someone that just won the lottery, he was hoping for the best. My last appointment with him he seemed confident I was making a full recovery. The technician spoke to Dr. Miller speculatively about the results. He said ejection fraction at 25%. Normally I wouldn’t put much stock in what anyone other than my doctor said, but Dr. Miller specifically said that this guy knows his stuff.

Being at 25% I am still in failure. Since it has been six months and I have been on maximum doses of medications, the next step is surgery. Heart surgery. Are you kidding? What happened to the progress? Dr. Miller wants to put in a defibrillator to prevent a life threatening arrhythmia that my weakened heart can’t pull itself out of. That’s what kills heart patients. Not slowing to a 0% ejection fraction, but an erratic heartbeat that your heart isn’t strong enough to correct.

My first thought upon hearing this news was “fuck this”. I am not getting heart surgery. Let it kill me. I have spent the last six months being ever so careful and scared of doing anything that would jeopardise my health. Now? Who cares. I have been given a death sentence of an unsure timeframe. My reasons for not wanting surgery are many. First and foremost, I am already $3,000 in just medical debt from this experience. Not to mention the near $8,000 in unsecured credit card debt due to living off of it both while unemployed and employed. Why would I want to add another $10,000 in bills to cover a surgery that I will spend the rest of my disabled shitty life paying off? It doesn’t add up. Secondly, defibrillators aren’t 100%. They could detect failure improperly and take control of your heart when you don’t need it to. I don’t need to keep worrying. I live my life in fear and I hate it. Cut to that night, I had procured some Cabernet Sauvignon and proceeded to drink myself stupid. The next morning I skipped the anti depressants and just popped lorazepam all day. Needless to say, I turned into a sobbing mess and a moron. I called a girl I like and left a 7 minute voicemail consisting of crying, singing, and silence. Then my sister in law comes over and I try to get her to beat me up. I called another girl professing an untrue undying love just so she would know in case anything happened. The next two nights I continued this binge of self-destruction, convincing myself that it was an act of rebellion that was justified. What has living my life alcohol and drug free done? Nothing. So in my petty and fucked up mind I kept on going down. Saturday night I was told half of what I did and Sunday night my sister in law told me the other half. I divulged information that no one needed to know. No reason except for my judgement had been impaired.

So tonight I lay in bed with calm music playing and a tear soaked face wondering what it accomplished. If anything it strengthened a knowledge and resolve to stay off those substances. I don’t have self-control. I have issues and a wonderful genetic history of addicts. Isn’t it funny how we all feel immune to the dangers and warnings of the world? On Tuesday I have a second appointment with Dr. Miller to go over the full results now that he’s had a chance to look at the test. Wednesday I start school and I feel excited and scared. So impatient and unprepared. And now I have told everyone that wants to know, my very stupid actions over the last week.


I have discarded the remaining lorazepam and will find other means of attacking my panic. Meditation, exercise, kitten petting, etc.

To my mother, I sincerely apologise for my defiant words towards you today. I know you know they were said in jest, but I would be lost without your love and support.

To my dad, thank you for helping me with everything you have been able to. Our relationship wasn’t the greatest when I was a kid, but I am happy to call you dad now instead of Russ.

To my siblings, I apologise for all actions and words that have offended you. I am truly grateful for you and terrified of life without you. I will try and be a better brother.

To my extended family, your thoughts and well wishes have meant so much to me. In any form you have chosen to pray or think of me, I can tell you with certainty, it helped.

To my friends, I don’t think I did anything to any of you except to show the monster that lives in me. If you choose to seek asylum from his terrors, I understand. If you choose to stay with me, I will do my best to keep him calm and under control.

To myself, remember to think of these promises and where you would be without them. Don’t forget who you are and what you stand for.

To my heart, I am sorry you are broken. I wish I would have taken better care of you. Even now as you feel like a stone buried deep in my chest, I love you. I hope we can work this out.

To a strangers and passers-by, I hope you find comfort and love in your life. I hope you are happy. And if by some chance you’re not, we can always talk. I’m happy to listen.

Thanks for stopping by.